Between the current Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal and Snapchat losing $11 billion over a tweet, it has been a strange yet controversial last couple of months for the tech industry. President Donald Trump, a vocal opponent of Silicon Valley, tweeted out his grievances, this time towards e-commerce giant Amazon.
Trump repeatedly criticized Amazon for cutting a cheaper deal with the U.S. Postal Service at the expense of taxpayers. He stated that the “U.S. Post Office will lose $1.50 on average for each package it delivers for Amazon,” and this advantage is hurting numerous other online retailers. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has yet to respond to the tweets.
During the week of March 29, Amazon’s stock had fallen seven percent, and the company lost nearly $55 billion in shareholder value. Overall, March was a rough month for the tech marked — Tesla, Intel and Netflix faced heavy losses.
But this has been just one of the many instances in which Trump has been unhappy with the tech industry. In the past, Trump has criticized Mark Zuckerberg for Facebook being “anti-Trump” and claimed that the company was colluding against him. Zuckerberg didn’t respond to Trump directly, instead discussing Facebook’s role in the 2016 presidential election and reaffirming that Facebook will always “work to bring people together and build a community for everyone.”
Perhaps what the biggest shock in the tech world this past year was Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai's proposal to end net neutrality. That proposal passed on Dec. 14.
Net neutrality is the principle that internet service providers, or ISPs, should treat all Internet data, sources and destinations the same. It is essential in preventing ISPs from slowing down connections for certain websites, services and apps. Without net neutrality in place, ISPs, such as Verizon and Comcast, can slow down certain sites' loading times and have the ability to censor whatever content they want.
Social media and the internet have revolutionized the way we interact with others today. Yes, it can become annoying when that person you’re trying to talk to has their eyes glued to their screens. Apart from that, platforms such as Google, Twitter, Facebook and Netflix are all crucial in the spread of information and knowledge in today’s digital age. It is a shame to see us taking a step backwards instead of embracing new technological innovations.
Also, President Trump, you of all people should be thankful for Silicon Valley, your fingers would be much more useless if it weren’t for Jack Dorsey.
Akash Bakshi is a freshman studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. What do you think about President Trump's relationship with technology? Let Akash know by tweeting him @akashmbakshi.